Composer, Producer, Singer/Songwriter and Multi-instrumentalist Bon Harris Creates Music Production Magic with Reason
Stockholm, Sweden (November 20, 2008) – Bon Harris made a name for himself in the early ‘80s/mid-90s as the founding member of the quintessential British industrial group Nitzer Ebb, programming the band’s signature sound. In the years since, the composer, producer, singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist has become an in-demand collaborator working with Depeche Mode, Smashing Pumpkins, Evanescence, AFI, Avril Lavigne, Bush, Marilyn Manson, Billy Corgan, and with his new band Maven. Propellerhead’s Reason has played an integral part in his production work since the software’s inception—from that of principal sound generator and mangler, to idea ‘sketch pad’ and sonic layering tool.
“Reason is a constant musical companion for me,” he explained. “It is so well put together, is very efficient, stable, and flexible. I can assemble any signal chain imaginable, without frustrating limitations, in a very quick, simple fashion. Reason is also very democratic. Everybody has it, or access to it. It’s become a common musical language, making it very easy to collaborate. And with ReWire connectivity, I can work on a musical sketch anywhere, and plug that into a host for expansion and refinement if needs be. As I’ve said often, Reason is like a Swiss Army Knife for music production… except it’s Swedish.”
The ability to have an onboard exhaustive library of sounds and sound banks provides Harris with an unlimited palette of tools at his immediate disposal. “I have a large library of sounds now at my disposal, so it’s very easy for me to call up a pre-assembled rack, or build one from scratch, using any style or combination that I can think of. I use the Factory and Orkester sound banks often. They are particularly handy if you find yourself in a situation where someone has Reason installed, but doesn’t use it often. You can always rely on that collection of sounds to be there, so it’s good to get to know them. I wonder how many computers in the world have those sounds installed. I don’t use presets much, but the Subtractor, Malström and Thor patches are excellent to have on hand if you need some ‘habit breakers’. Not to mention the Redrum patches, to kick things off quickly. The NN-XT is very quick to browse, audition and load sounds, too. Browsers are not generally considered to be the sexiest part of any software, but try working with a clumsy one and watch the hours and inspiration melt away. Reason’s browser is top notch. My hat goes off to The Browser Master(s)!”
But perhaps the most significant boon to his workflow is Reason’s flexibility, speed and portability. And for an artist that is constantly on the go, it’s easy to see why Reason has become an integral part of his workflow. “As soon as I can think up an idea, I can execute it, save variations, re-load alternatives, etc. Reason allows me to work very swiftly. I can also bicycle over to a studio with a complete, mixed arrangement in my backpack. That didn’t work so well with the System 100m’s, Moog Modulars, etc. The semi-modular nature is a dream for modular synth fans. It allows you to achieve sounds that would be difficult, if not impossible, using hardware. I still use software and hardware together, but the advantages of software are portability, total recall, and a small physical footprint. With software and a laptop, you can make an album at the kitchen table, on the bus, laying in bed, wherever. My favorite is at the library, actually. I take some sandwiches and make a day of it. Just keep the headphone level down! Whether you are using a laptop or a full-featured studio setup, Mac or PC, Reason is very consistent and allows you to get music written without imposing limitations.”
So, what’s in Bon Harris’ Reason rack?
“Depends on the situation. If I’m scoring for picture it’ll be stuffed with NN-XT’s, maybe a couple of Dr Rex’s, reverbs and delays. If it’s more band type stuff then Subtractors and lots of effects. The rack will change to suit the situation, and Reason proves flexible enough to handle it all very well.”
About Propellerhead Software
Formed in 1994, Propellerhead Software is a privately owned company based in Stockholm, Sweden. Renowned for its musician-centric approach, Propellerhead has created some of the world’s most innovative music software applications, interfaces and technology standards. Musicians, producers and the media have praised Figure, Reason, ReCycle and ReBirth applications for being inspiring, great sounding and of impeccable quality. Technologies such as ReWire and the REX file format are de-facto industry standards, implemented in all major music software. Today, Propellerhead’s products are used all over the world by hundreds of thousands of professionals and enthusiasts for all kinds of music making. http://www.propellerheads.se
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